Archive for April, 2014

The impact of different regulatory models on the labour conditions, safety and welfare of indoor-based sex workers

April 24, 2014

Sex Work Research

Abstract

Drawing on research in the UK and the Netherlands, this article considers the respective legislative backgrounds, recent policy changes and their implication for sex workers in off-street environments. It considers the impact of different regulatory models on the employment rights, safety and welfare of sex workers and explores how working conditions in different indoor settings might be improved through legal and policy changes. We argue that although decriminalization of sex work is a precondition to secure the labour and human rights of sex workers, the involvement of sex workers in policy development and facilitation of different modes of working are necessary to improve their working conditions and autonomy.

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Fighting words: China disses U.S. soldiers as worthless

April 21, 2014

Consortium of Defense Analysts

Miles Yu reports for The Washington Times, April 17, 2014:

A casual remark by a U.S. general during a breakfast has made China mad, really mad, and Beijing’s response is far less than civil and humble.

On April 11, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Wissler, commander of the 18,000 Marines in Okinawa, Japan, told reporters at a Washington breakfast meeting that the Marines in the Pacific would quickly retake the Senkaku island group and return it to Japan if China were to invade it.

Note: China and Japan both claim ownership of the islands, called Senkaku by Japanese and Diaoyu by Chinese.

U.S. Marines Lt. Gen. John Wissler U.S. Marines Lt. Gen. John Wissler

The statement was nothing new, as U.S. officials from the president on down repeatedly have told the Chinese that the United States would fulfill its defense treaty obligations to help Japan militarily in any conflict with China over the…

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Dir. of US Navy Intelligence: Chinese Navy in drills to take Senkaku and invade Okinawa

April 18, 2014

Consortium of Defense Analysts

3 ADIZs

From Taiwan’s Want China Times of April 15, 2014:

China has the ability to deploy 2,000 troops to the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan) in just five hours using its four Zubr-class air-cushioned landing craft purchased from Russia, according to an Apr. 2 report in the Wall Street Journal.

A Zubr-class landing craft. (Internet photo)

A Zubr-class landing craft

Although Lieutenant General John Wissler, the commanding general of the US Marine Corps in Okinawa, says that the United States is capable of wiping out invading Chinese forces without mobilizing ground forces, Western military experts have begun to question whether Washington and Tokyo are capable of defending Okinawa from a potential PLA invasion.

A single Zubr-class landing craft can transport 500 soldiers and 150 tonnes of equipment.

The Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, deployed by the US in Okinawa, is four times faster than the Zubr-class landing craft; however, it would…

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“Richest man in Asia” Li Ka-Shing dumps all his Chinese property holdings

April 17, 2014

Consortium of Defense Analysts

Li Ka-Shing

Li Ka-shing, 85, is a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as of October 7, 2013, Li is the richest person in Asia, with a net worth of $30 billion, much of it from shrewd property investment.

Born in southern China in 1928, due to his father’s death, Li was forced to leave school before the age of 15 and found a job in a plastics trading company where he labored 16 hours a day. By 1950 he started his own plastics manufacturing company, Cheung Kong, which developed into a leading real estate investment company in Hong Kong that was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972.

Given Li’s business acumen, it is noteworthy that according to Simon Black of Sovereign Man, April 16, 2014, Li Ka-Shing is dumping all his property investments in China.

Li had been investing in mainland China back in the…

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Dilemmas

April 16, 2014

The Honest Courtesan

I work for a large company which has many different contracts with both private companies and governmental institutions.  I wholeheartedly support most of the work we do, but I’m less happy with our association with law enforcement, which might lead to the abuse of innocent people.  Worst of all, in the past few years another division of the company has become involved with the trafficking myth pushers, and it makes my skin crawl.  But I’m not high enough in management to have any influence, expressing my views can only do me harm, and good jobs are hard to come by these days.  How can I reconcile my conscience with continuing to work there? 

blood moneyAs a whore, far be it from me to condemn others for taking “dirty money”; some of my clients were politicians, gangsters, drug dealers, ambulance-chasers and other lowlifes who got their money in morally reprehensible ways.  Money…

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Habitable Room

April 11, 2014

The Honest Courtesan

This essay first appeared in Cliterati on March 23rd; I have modified it slightly to fit the format of this blog.

The Vestal Virgins were among the most important people in classical Roman society; they were charged with keeping the sacred fires burning, and accorded numerous privileges in return.  One of the greatest of these was that their persons were sacrosanct; in other words, no person could touch them without their permission, upon penalty of death.  That meant no one at all, not even high state officials; a Vestal could not be touched even if she were convicted of the greatest crime of which she could be accused, that of breaking her vows by having sex or allowing the sacred fires to go out.  Because these offenses were believed to anger the gods and thus risk the safety of all Rome, the penalty for them was death…

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Sweden’s abolitionist discourse and law: Effects on the dynamics of Swedish sex work and on the lives of Sweden’s sex workers

April 5, 2014

Sex Work Research

Abstract

The Swedish criminalization of the purchase of sex aims to abolish prostitution through targeting the demand, while decriminalizing those selling sex in an ostensible effort to protect sex workers – constructed as passive victims of gendered violence – from criminalization. Drawing from authors’ research and that of others, this article discusses the sex purchase law (sexköpslagen), exploring some of its impacts on the lives of sex workers and the dynamics of Swedish prostitution.

We argue that the law has failed in its abolitionist ambition to decrease levels of prostitution, since there are no reliable data demonstrating any overall decline in people selling sex. Furthermore, we argue that the law has resulted…

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Why I will not be standing in “solidarity” with Julian Assange

April 4, 2014

Feminist Ire

This morning, an email arrived in my inbox concerning a demonstration of “solidarity” with Julian Assange. The email indicated support for Assange’s cause of a number of left-wing and anti-war organisations.

Let me start this by saying that I have serious issues with the European Arrest Warrant. When it was transposed into Irish law the Human Rights Commission warned of the dangers of imposing by fiat mutual recognition of EU member states’ legal systems, when not all member states have equivalent human rights protections. This remains a legitimate concern and an argument against Assange’s extradition under that procedure, although it was also an argument against the extradition of a Holocaust denier a few years ago and I don’t remember the anti-war left lining up to stand in solidarity with him.

Assange’s defenders have presented the case against him as if the allegations were either completely concocted or an example of…

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